Some businesses are lucky enough to have at least one person in charge of marketing, if not a whole department. How do smaller businesses compete with the bigger brands without overstretching themselves?

In many ways, your bijou nature can actually be a real asset, as long as you know how to exploit it. Here are a few tips to get started:

1.  Join social media

A small team making big things happen is a very compelling story. Get yourself a personal as well as a business account on a couple of channels. Bigger companies run the risk at times of feeling faceless – you have the advantage here so use it. Show your followers the highs and lows of running a small business, get talking with relevant prospects, promote other people’s endeavours in turn.

If you’re a B2B the top channels to use are Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook, but with a bit of creativity you can stand out from your competitors by infiltrating channels that are often perceived as more B2C such as Instagram or Snapchat.

2.  Make your team join social media

Get your whole team to join social media (if they haven’t already) and encourage them to promote your business. For instance: liking, retweeting, sharing posts, etc. They are the best spokespeople for your business, and through this activity they will extend the reach of your business without spending a dime on advertising.

3.  Automation

You can automate a great deal of your marketing activity today, through tools such as Buffer. Make the most of these to give a foundation coat to your social media activity for instance (but don’t rely on it entirely or you will sound like a robot).

Automation can really take the strain out promotion, but it still has to be monitored and reviewed to make sure it’s working as well as it can.

4.  Create content

Set time aside every week to create content for your website, such as a blog. It has to be content that makes sense for your business of course: think about what your clients would like to read about, or find out more about. Clarify your strategy, describe your work process, explain an often confusing topic, comment on news that is relevant to your field and how it might impact it.

You can recycle the content you create in all sorts of ways, outlined here.

If you’re really pushed for time, we recommend using a tool like Passle rather than outsourcing the content. No one knows your niche better than you and your team after all.

5.  Network

Get out of the office from time to time to meet people – word of mouth is the holy grail of marketing and people are more likely to recommend a business if they personally know someone involved in it. Look up networking opportunities, enter your business into a few awards to get it noticed, attend conferences, …. Social media is a form of networking, so if you’ve joined it you’re already on the right track.

6.  Check your analytics

Getting feedback on all your activity is great, even better if it’s easy to understand. Most social media platforms have an analytics section to let you know which posts are working the best.

I recommend installing a Google Analytics tracking code to your website too. It’s free, and particularly helpful once you’ve installed a custom dashboard (you can find quite a few here).